With nearly two million sellers on Etsy, and more than 50 million products for sale, it’s crucial to understand how you can work your way up Etsy’s search results and grab potential buyers’ attention. We take a look at how Etsy determines your position in its own search results, as well as how you can get your Etsy shop and listings to appear in Google search results.
Etsy’s search algorithm is based on providing the most relevant products for shoppers, so they can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Etsy prioritises showing items that shoppers are likely to follow through and purchase, and that will offer the buyer a good shopping experience. To make the most relevant products appear higher search results, Etsy assesses your listings on a number of factors.
Find out more about how Etsy search works here.
Etsy uses your listing titles, as well as tags, to decide whether your product is related to what the buyer has typed into the search bar. The first few words of your title are the most influential to Etsy search results, so make sure you put your most relevant and effective keywords first. Your title should be made up of words and phrases that a shopper would use - any extra details that might not be what people search for initially can be included in your product description.
Learn more about SEO and keywords here.
For each item you can use 13 tags, words or phrases to describe your item.Etsy will use these to match a shopper’s search with relevant products. It’s important that you use all 13 tags per listing - the more terms that your product is tagged for, the more searches your listing will appear in.
However, these tags still need to be relevant and specific to your product because it’s important that your product matches what the buyer was looking for. Ideally, tags will be two or more word phrases so that you appear in more specific searches.
Find out more about using tags for your Etsy listings here.
You can include key information in your item attributes that will be considered in Etsy's search. Select as many accurate attributes as possible to maximise your item's exposure in search results.
Etsy judges how likely an item is to be purchased by assessing how well they do in search results - this is called ‘listing quality’. The number of clicks, favourites or purchases of an item when it’s appeared in search results is used to calculate a listing quality score. Etsy also takes into account where in the results your listing appears, to allow for the fact that those items at the top of results are likely to receive more interactions. Any favourites or purchases made where the buyer has come from a search engine or your Etsy shop to the product listing won’t be included in this.
You can encourage buyers to click through to your listings by making sure all your thumbnail images are cropped correctly so they accurately represent your item in results, as well as using high quality, clear photos, and pricing your products competitively.
There’s no indication of whether a high number of clicks but a low number of purchases will count against you however, the goal for your listings should always be to convert shoppers to buy something. If you have few sales but a lot of clicks, look at where you could be losing the shoppers interest: insufficient detail, low quality images, or high shipping fees are all things that might put buyers off when they look at your listing.
Etsy also evaluates customer experience when they make a purchase from your Etsy shop to determine where your listings appear. Positive reviews, whether you’ve completed your ‘About’ section and your shop policies are taken into account and could improve your position in results. Recent open cases and intellectual property infringement issues could lower your position.
Filling out all of your shop information and policies not only improves your position in search results but will be helpful to potential buyers. You can give buyers more of an insight into your shop and your products, and give them all the information that they need to know before ordering, which will encourage them to purchase from you. It’s also essential to communicate with your buyers and respond quickly to any questions or open cases.
Recency of listings
Etsy wants to make sure its search results are as fresh and interesting as possible to buyers, so they take into consideration how recently an item has been listed or relisted. If you have old listings that don’t sell often then it’s worth relisting them to boost their position in search results.
Buyers in the EU, Australia, and Canada will see items for sale in their own country higher up search results. Etsy added location into its search algorithm for these countries because they found that buyers find it less expensive and more convenient to purchase items from their own country. Buyers in other countries such as the US, won’t see search results affected by location unless they specifically filter results by country.
All listing information, including the titles and tags need to be in the shop language you chose when you first created your Etsy shop.
While categories aren’t part of how Etsy determines your listings relevance in a general search, it’s an important way of being found.
If a customer enters a general search term and then narrows down results by selecting more specific categories you’ll only appear in results if you’ve used those categories and subcategories - so it’s worth spending some time choosing the most relevant ones to your products.
Etsy SEO for search engines
It’s not only important to appear high up in Etsy’s own search results, but you can generate more sales for your Etsy shop by making sure your listings are optimised for search engines such as Google.
Underneath your Etsy shop name, you have 55 characters to describe your shop. This will be the page title that appears when your shop is included in Google’s search results. This should include a brief outline of what you sell with some of your keywords or phrases.
Bold and Noble's Etsy shop in Google results:
The shop title appears under the shop name on Etsy:
Etsy’s own search doesn’t take into consideration your product descriptions, but it’s still important to spend time writing and optimising them. Google and other search engines will use your product descriptions to determine where you rank, so it’s important that you include the right keywords.
Your product description is also where you can give buyers more information about your item and persuade them to buy - this will increase the number of interactions and improve your ‘listing quality’. And, if you include accurate, detailed information buyers are more likely to be satisfied with their purchase and leave positive reviews when they receive the item.
SEO tips for selling on Etsy: Summary
The best way to improve your position in search results is by using the right keywords at every opportunity for your listings, and ensuring you give buyers the best possible experience when they purchase from you. Etsy doesn’t give any indication of how each of these factors is weighted, however, if you spend time maintaining each one you should see yourself moving up results, increasing sales, and impressing your customers.